I am Orville Deutchman. I have Multiple Myeloma . It's the rarest of the cancers. It's a Bone Marrow cancer. Somewhat related to leukemia, but that is a blood cancer, whereas the Multiple Myeloma cancer is in the bone marrow itself. If you take all of the other cancers and combine them, this is less than 1% of that. There are sub-types of Multiple Myeloma, and lucky me, I have the rarest of the sub-types (iGg). Ten years ago, with the standard of care treatment available at that time, I would already be dead.
However, my life has been blessed to have the best oncologist in Florida (for this specific cancer), Dr Chanan-Khan . He's a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. He's on his own campaign, to find the cure for this cancer. He tells me that I'm one of his favorite guinea pigs. That is to say, he's been putting me in several drug trials, hoping to learn more about the path to a cure.
And, that has been keeping me alive.
Mayo Clinic is a "for profit" treatment center. I'm living on Social Security. Yes, I have supplemental Medicare health insurance. The drug trial treatments are very (VERY!) expensive. The current drug trial I am on (the last 21 days of it) uses Revlimid as the active ingredient. a 21 day supply is $15,000. I have that covered with a grant from a wellness group.
However, prior to my current level of supplemental insurance, I racked up a bill at Mayo to the tune of about $6,000. I have paid some of that down, but it's tough on Social Security. I still have to eat, and keep a roof over my head.
I have SOLD most everything I can sell to get cash to work on the bill, but running out of options. And, while Mayo has been very lenient with collecting the money, their patience isn't endless. Without the medical care at Mayo, specifically with my wonderful doctor, I will fall out of the drug trials, and will likely just become a statistic for the Multiple Myeloma death rate. I would dearly love to avoid that. I'm only 67 years old. And, otherwise in good health. I donp;t have high b lood pressure, diabetes, or any of the other things that older people have. Just this cancer!
Some famous people have died from Multiple Myeloma: Roy Schneider (Jaws), Sam Walton (Walmart), Geraldine Ferraro (NY Gov who also ran in a presidential race), Stan Winston (special effects expert - Jurassic Park). All of their money, at the time, couldn't save them from this cancer. Tom Brokaw is alive, but also has Multiple Myeloma. He's getting treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I don't have anything like Tom's bank account.
So, please consider helping me pay any portion of this indebtedness. I'm not sure what, other than my thanks and prayers, I can extend to those who contribute. But know, that my plea is sincere and the timing is dire. The current drug trial ends in the next 30 days. My ongoing visits at Mayo depend on paying off this bill. Thank you.